- Becca J. G. Godwin The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A lawsuit from a Roswell police sergeant who was fired from her job for flying the Confederate flag will no longer be aided by a controversial organization.
Silvia Cotriss’ attorney, David Ates, said they have decided not to add Southern Legal Resource Center co-founder Kirk Lyons as a lawyer on the case after all.
The decision comes days after Ates and Cotriss told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution they were unaware of Lyons’ associations with hate groups, which have been reported in The New York Times on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s website.
Ates said the case is about the legal issue of whether flying the flag at home is protected speech, and not about racism.
“The last thing I want is to be associated with anything like that,” he said Tuesday.
Lyons — who had not yet made an appearance in the case — said he hadn’t been informed about a long term decision on his participation.
“Whether I am in or out, I have already made significant contributions to the case. And in or out, the SLRC and I will be ready to help (Cotriss) in any way we can,” Lyons said in an email. “This case is a long way from over — we'll see who is in or out at the finish.”
Cotriss, of Woodstock, previously said she did not know some consider the Confederate flag offensive.